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Today's Opinions

  • Road fixes take time

    If there’s anything that the Twin Counties are tired of right now, it’s rain. We’re tired of rain forecasts, stories about floods and announcements about road closures.
    Thankfully, things appear to be clearing up at this point. The ground is drying up, repairs are being made, and events are going forward as planned…. and yes, this means a green light for the fiddlers’ convention.
    The city, however, is feeling quite an aftershock.

  • Pipers Gap Road needs repairing

    Elected by the Pipers Gap District residents to represent them on the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, it is my responsibility to answer questions and attempt to solve problems. It is the part of the job I enjoy the most.
    Normally I do not respond to unsigned letters, anonymous phone calls or unknown Hotline callers. In a Hotline item published July 17 (“Winter Danger”), the caller referred to water crossing Pipers Gap Road during prolonged precipitation.

  • Public thanks was well-deserved

    For years, the Galax Volunteer Fire Department has prided itself on quick and quality response. They rush to the scenes of burning buildings, assist in major car pile-ups and engage in every other facet of community service they can possibly fit into their tightly packed schedules.

  • BBQ event spices up Galax's economy

    This year, we celebrate the ninth anniversary of Smoke on the Mountain, an event that in its short existence has made great strides in putting Galax on the map for the rest of the country.
    Every year, it attracts thousands — barbecue teams, judges, tourists, fans and locals — to enjoy two days of high-spirited competition and many other festivities.
    Locals can get out, celebrate, eat, mingle with old friends and meet new ones.
    Tourists get a taste, not just of good food and entertainment, but of the city itself and what it has to offer.

  • Galax exceeds expectations

    My mom has lived in Galax for most of her life. When a job came open in the area, I started to take a serious look at returning from my current city of Richmond.
    I have always been impressed that there is a relatively strong economy in Galax. There were always plenty of restaurants and enough shopping to keep Mom and I busy during visits.
    Galax offers numerous events throughout the year. They really put Galax on the map as a place to live and have fun.

  • Training center must remain open

    I would like to thank reporter Chris Brooke and The Gazette for recent coverage of an online petition to “Save Our Training Centers,” spearheaded by Northern Virginia Training Center.
    This coverage keeps the public informed about this most important issue. 
    The Parent Advocacy & Advisory Council of Southwest Virginia continues to work diligently with legislators to slow down this flawed process of discharging residents without placements which can adequately meet their intense needs.

  • Hang up and drive

    Legislation providing for a massive infusion of new money for the commonwealth’s long-neglected, crumbling roads finally took effect July 1, essentially overhauling the way Virginia’s transportation system is funded.
    The clearest signal that the law took effect, however, wasn’t visible along any road; it was at the cash register, where consumers began shelling out a little more money.
    Gone is the state’s fixed, 17.5 cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline, which had lost more than half its value since being enacted in 1987.

  • Criminal code needs serious overhaul

    Of the many government systems that need overhaul, the federal criminal code ranks among the most bloated.
    Congress has created 500 new federal crimes per decade for the last 30 years. From 1980 to 2004, the number of criminal offenses increased by 30 percent.
    Many of those new laws junked a long-standing legal principal known as mens rea: for a person to be guilty of a crime, he must have intended to commit one.